07/03/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT
When 60 Minutes executive producer Don Hewitt decided to throw a small dinner party at his Manhattan home in 1998, he had more in mind for his longtime friend Candice Bergen, now 54, than a good meal. Three years had passed since her husband of 15 years, French director Louis Malle, died of lymphoma at age 63, and she had just ended a nine-year run as the star of CBS's hit sitcom Murphy Brown. As he saw it, the time was right for something new—namely, local real estate magnate Marshall Rose, now 63, an old pal whose wife of 31 years, Jill, had died of cancer in 1996. "So I called Candy and I said, 'A guy named Marshall Rose is going to pick you up. Trust me.' And she said, 'Okay.' " So it was with special pleasure that, on June 15, Hewitt stood in Rose's Fifth Avenue apartment alongside some 20 guests—including Bergen's daughter with Malle, Chloe, 14; her mother, Frances Bergen, 77; Rose's children Wendi, 33, and Andrew, 31; and Diane Sawyer and her husband, director Mike Nichols—and watched Bergen and Rose say "I do."
"I never saw two people revel more in the moment," says Hewitt. "They seemed to be very much in love." As Rose said in a toast minutes after the ceremony, "Lightning doesn't usually strike twice, but it has struck twice for both of us."
The following evening the newly-weds sat side-by-side at the Russian Tea Room, celebrating with a few family members over hot borscht, blinchiki and Cristal champagne. As they passed pictures and ate chocolate mousse cake, says one observer, "there were lots of laughs. It was a happy family group." Which, according to Bergen's good friend, screenwriter Alice Arlen, 59, was one reason the actress—now back in Texas filming Miss Congeniality with Sandra Bullock
and Michael Caine—decided to marry. "She wanted some-one fabulous for Chloe," says Arlen, and with Rose, she got him. "Marshall is charming, wonderful and kind," she adds. "Louis would be very pleased."